Beijing's best dim sum

The top destinations for dim sum dining in Beijing

In our world, if it's a weekend morning, it's dim sum time. We've scoured Beijing for the city’s best versions of the Cantonese classic - all in the name of research, of course - to bring you this definitive list. 

Whether you're counting the pennies, looking for all-out luxe or just trying to find a place to fill the Hong Kong-shaped hole in your heart, Beijing has a place for you, and we've tracked it down.

Not sure what to order? We've got that covered too: check out the Time Out Beijing guide to dim sum.

Cai Yi Xuan

Cai Yi Xuan

Want truffles in your rice noodle roll and a dish called ‘money bags’? This place can meet all your ostentations needs. Lunch at Cai Yi Xuan is popping and the over-the-top décor is kitted out to match.

Slurp broth from exquisite soup dumplings (58RMB, plus 15 percent on all dishes) and tear into the delicate, pan-fried changfen (108RMB) layered with aromatic shavings of black truffle.

This is something to splurge for.

Dim sum served 11.30am-2.30pm daily

Cai Yi Xuan Second Floor, Four Seasons Beijing, 48 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang See full address details

Picture Cai Yi Xuan's luxe interior

Crystal Jade

Crystal Jade

The secret of shopping malls in China is that they’ve actually got some really fantastic food. We’ll admit it took us a long time to accept this, but Crystal Jade is a case in point.

Ultra-buttery baked buns (18RMB) conceal sumptuous, mahogany-red barbecued pork; delicate rice noodle rolls stuffed with a crunchy vegetable medley (22RMB); truly exceptional shrimp dumplings (26RMB) – this Singaporean chain has it all. It’s some of Beijing’s best dim sum… and it’s in a mall.

Dim sum served 10am-3.30pm daily

Crystal Jade BB82 Oriental Plaza, 1 Dongchang’anjie, Dongcheng district See full address details

Picture Shanghainese fried steamed buns (shengjian bao)

Duck de Chine

Duck de Chine

What does a half-off special even mean if it’s offered every day? We don’t know but we’re not complaining.

Duck de Chine offers dim sum at lunch with all items discounted 50 percent daily. The new autumn menu has all of the classics plus a few less common items like superb tofu skin rolls scented with orange peel in duck soup (16RMB). It’s an excellent value way to experience the gorgeous Jinbao Jie courtyard location.

Dim sum served 11.30am- 2.30pm daily

Duck de Chine Courtyard 4, 1949 The Hidden City, Gongti Bei Lu, (behind Pacific Century Place) Chaoyang district See full address details

Guanghe Restaurant

Guanghe Restaurant

Out in the wilds of Xicheng lies the charmingly retro Guangzhou Hotel. The dim sum’s good enough, but most appealing is the Southern China atmosphere – fake palm trees and all.

The hotel’s fifth floor teahouse is Beijing’s only place to experience Hong Kong-style pushcart service. When not a trolley was in sight at 9am, the manager explained: ‘Of course, before 11am there are trolleys – see them back there? – but we’re lazy. If guests ask, we’ll do it. Lesson learned? Go on the weekend when it might be busy enough to merit the pushcarts.

Dim sum served 7am-2.30pm and 5.30-10pm daily

Guanghe Restaurant Xidan, Guangdong Provincial Government Office 5/F Guangzhou Dasha, Heng Er Tiao, Xicheng District See full address details

Picture Guanghe's Cantonese interior

Jin Ding Xuan

Jin Ding Xuan

There are those times when it’s 4am and all you want is dim sum. Jin Ding Xuan may not turn out the capital’s most refined version, but it’s certainly nothing to sneer at. At over 75 items, the menu is gigantic, the quality is high, and nearly everything’s under 20RMB.

The barbecued pork is rich enough to make you feel like you’re doing something you should feel guilty about and the shrimp dumplings (26.8RMB) are far more than serviceable. Between midnight and 5pm, select items are on offer for 8.8RMB each.

Dim sum served 24 hours daily

Jin Ding Xuan 77 Hepingli Xijie, Dongcheng district (other locations available) See full address details

Picture shrimp dumplings

Lei Garden

Lei Garden

Widely considered to have Beijing’s best dim sum, Lei Garden is still killing it and shows no signs of letting up.

Make sure to sit in the original dining room in Jinbao Tower where it’s lively and atmospheric. The newer room in the Regent hotel is tranquil, sure, but leaves something to be desired. But no matter where you sit, the food does not let down. Light and flaky turnip pastries (29RMB), outstanding rice noodle rolls (33RMB) and the signature soup dumplings (29RMB) – with delightful, ginger undertones – fly to the table.

From the kitchen to the service, everything is on point.

Dim sum served 11.30-2.30pm daily

Lei Garden 89 Jinbaojie, Dongcheng district See full address details

Tang Palace

Tang Palace

Among the crystal chandeliers, banquet seating and tired décor, you might think you’re at a rundown Cantonese restaurant in a Chinatown abroad.

Atmospheric charms aside, Tang Palace offers solid dim sum at rock-bottom prices. The menu boasts an extensive selection of items including wonderfully fragrant glutinous rice steamed with tender chicken and a salted egg yolk (16RMB, plus 10 percent on all dishes). Normal prices are a bargain, but non-peak hours (10-11.30am, 2-5pm, 8.30-10pm) on weekdays means 30 percent off all items.

You won’t leave unsatisfied, and your wallet will be all the more grateful.

Dim sum served 10am-10pm

Tang Palace Fourth Floor, Full Link Plaza, 18 Chaoyangmenwai Dajie, Chaoyang See full address details

Wanglongzhou Seafood

Wanglongzhou Seafood

This Guangzhou-based chain offers what must be the best dim sum deal in the city. Items can be ordered a la carte or you can get the all-you-can-eat offer for 68RMB per person. Its dim sum game is tight with overly generous portions of glutinous rice and chicken steamed in lotus leaves (18RMB) and crisp, though greasy, durian puffs (25RMB).

This is food for the soul, and you won’t leave hungry.

Dim sum served 10am-4pm daily

Wanlongzhou Seafood First Floor, Shanghai Centre, 39 Liangmaqiao Lu See full address details

Picture steamed chicken with glutinous rice

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